The first black astronaut candidate went into space after 60 years (6 photos)

Category: Space, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

On May 19, Blue Origin sent tourists overseas, including 90-year-old Ed Dwight. He was a captain in the United States Air Force when President John F. Kennedy nominated him for NASA's first astronaut corps. But he was not accepted into the 1963 group.

60 years later, Dwight became the oldest person to ever go into space. The suborbital flight lasted about 10 minutes, the passengers were in a state of weightlessness for some time.

The man called the flight a "life-changing experience."

“I thought that I didn’t need this. But now I realized that I was wrong... I’m delighted,” the pensioner said when he left the capsule.

Ed is almost two months older than Star Trek actor William Shatner, who flew into space in 2021.

Jeff Bezos' company has resumed flights after a two-year hiatus. In 2022, an accident occurred, but without people on board: the launch vehicle caught fire, the capsule with the equipment was disconnected and, using a parachute, landed safely on the ground.

Blue Origin is showing tourists space for the seventh time. Dwight was joined by four businessmen from the US and France and a retired accountant.

Ticket prices were not disclosed; Dwight's flight was partially sponsored by the non-profit organization Space for Humanity.

NASA didn't select black astronauts until 1978, and it wasn't until 1983 that African-American Guion Bluford went into space. But the first was the Cuban pilot of African origin Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, who, together with the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Soyuz-38 spacecraft on September 18, 1980.

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